The University of Nebraska–Lincoln has a strong interest in protecting the safety of youth in all UNL-sponsored programs and events, including those offered through the Nebraska Extension 4-H Youth Development Program. Therefore, in September 2012, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln implemented a Youth Activity Safety Policy in order to provide a safe, educational and enjoyable activity/program experience for all participants. This policy provides minimum specific guidelines for activities sponsored by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. UNL reserves the right to discontinue an activity if found to be in violation of these policies. The policy can be reviewed at: http://police.unl.edu/campus-youth-activity-safety-policy.
17.1 Trip Approval & Crisis Management Form:
All 4-H state-to-state exchanges, national and multi-state trips must receive trip approval by District and State administration prior to the event. All appropriate approval documentation is to be submitted prior to the trip. The following information must be documented.
- Educational purpose/impact
- Itinerary/length of trip
- Budget description
- Health Forms completed
- Code of conduct signed by participants/parents/guardians
- Crisis management planning form completed
- Travel authorization forms (required for Extension staff only)
- List of chaperones and participants
- Volunteers and staff must have completed the volunteer screening process
- Proof of chaperone completion of the Nebraska Chaperone Training course, We Protect Staff, Volunteer and Youth. (Enrollment instructions: http://4h.unl.edu/documents/chaperonetrainingonlineinstructions.pdf)
- CPR and First Aid Plan
- In the event of an emergency, use the Crisis Management Planning Form to communicate with the proper chain of command. The Crisis Management Planning Form is located at: http://4h.unl.edu/documents/crisismanagementplanningform_060202017.pdf
17.2 Trip Chaperones:
Staff and volunteers who are chaperoning 4-H members during 4-H overnight educational events and activities are required to complete the Youth Protection 4-H Volunteer Screening form and Nebraska Chaperone Training course prior to chaperoning a trip or event. Failure to fulfill these requirements will disqualify any volunteer or staff member from service. (See Section 10, for more information on Risk Management).
- The minimum recommended adult/youth ratio is 1:10, or one 4-H faculty/staff or volunteer for every ten delegates. Groups should be accompanied by adults with specifically defined responsibilities and expectations. Regardless of the size of the delegation, efforts should be encouraged for additional chaperones to be recruited from screened volunteers and parents.
- Adult chaperones should reflect the same gender ratio as the youth delegation. Gender balance may be negotiated with another delegation. This criterion will be considered for trip approval by District and State administration.
- Screened volunteers from another state who are volunteering/chaperoning for Nebraska 4-H may be accepted with the approval of the Nebraska State 4-H Program Administrator.
- One adult must never be alone with one youth. Activity Workers will never put themselves in the position to be one-on-one with a non-related youth.
- Extension personnel will not travel alone with a 4-H member unless the 4-H member is their child.
- Volunteers must present proof of current driver’s license. (This is for events UNL provides transportation for, not families transporting their youth to an event.)
- All volunteers, presenters, and helpers arranged by UNL will need to be screened through the state and national sex offender registry.
To provide for the appropriate housing of youth and adults:
- 4-H paid or volunteer adult Activity Worker must not room with non-related youth in a hotel, dorm room or 2-4 person tent.
- In an overnight situation, camping, a dormitory setting, lock-in or in a group sponsored all night activity, there must be a minimum of two adult Activity Workers present.
- A bed or sleeping bag is never shared by paid or Activity Workers and youth.
- Room/cabin checks will be done by two adult Activity Workers. Avoid using bathrooms with youth.
17.3 Youth Travel Opportunities:
Rules for chaperone and youth participants will vary by trip/event. For information about specific youth trips, go to the designated web site; examples include:
- Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF).
- National 4-H Congress.
- National 4-H Conference.
- Competitive events (PASE: Premier Animal Science Event; Clover Challenge; Life Challenge.)